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Worried that cocaine has worsened ear infection. Taken antibiotics. Inflamed ear, painful, hearing problem.

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 1600 Questions
Hi, I went to the Doctors on Wednesday as thought I had an ear infection. I have and she gave me Flucloxacillin to take. I started to take them on Wed night (2 tablets) and then all day Thursday. I was going to a wedding Friday and wanted to have a drink so I stopped the tablets. I also ended up taking some cocaine that night. I started taking the antibiotics again on Saturday and yesterday and my ear has got worse. It's really inflammed and has started aching and is really painful plus I can't hear properly out of it. I'mn really worried that what I did Friday has caused a problem. I feel embarrassed writing this but wanted your advice.
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 2 hours later


Thanks for the query

After going through the history, I do feel that you had middle ear infection (probably acute suppurative otitis media). Acute middle ear infection is caused because of the blockage of the tube connecting the nose and the ear (Eustachian tube).

Middle ear infection with an intact ear drum is usually secondary to the nasal infection. I presume you had smoked cocaine; smoking would have further damaged the already inflamed nasal mucosa and the Eustachian tube leading to nasal block and accumulation of the secretions in the middle ear. Accumulation of the secretions in the middle ear would have exerted pressure over the ear drum leading to pain. And also, the presence of secretions in the middle ear would have caused reduced hearing.

I would like to suggest you to consult your doctor again for a complete examination and reconsider changing of the antibiotic. Secondly, do steam inhalation 2-3 times a day and drink plenty of warm water, this will keep the mucosa hydrated as well as reduce the inflammation of the Eustachian tube.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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